NCBA Bank pulls final dividend for 2019 due to coronavirus

NCBA Bank pulls final dividend for 2019 due to coronavirus
NCBA Group Managing Director John Gachora poses with Group Chairman Isaac Awuondo during the presentation of NCBA strategic plan on October 3 PHOTO | COURTESY

NCBA has pulled its final dividend for last year of 1.50 shillings per share due to the coronavirus crisis, becoming the first lender in the East African nation to do so.

The bank, that was created through a merger between NIC Bank and the CBA Group last year, will offer investors a bonus share issue of one for every 10 held instead, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The country’s third largest bank by assets had been set to pay the dividend to shareholders on the books on April 23.

The Board attributed the changed decision to the COVID-19 pandemic’s “devastating effects to the world and the Kenyan economy”.

Last month, the central bank directed lenders to restructure personal and business loans for borrowers who might get into distress due to the crisis to prevent it from spilling into the financial sector.

The regulator offered lenders some flexibility for the classification of loans to be restructured.

Absa Kenya, the fifth largest lender by assets, said it has restructured 4.25% of its loans. Other lenders have not yet published such data.

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